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Donald Trump on Civil Rights

2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President

 


Sued in 1970s for racist rental policy, but same as everyone

CLINTON: Donald started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. Donald started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African-Americans, and he made sure that the people who worked for him understood that was the policy. He actually was sued twice by the Justice Department. So he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior.

TRUMP: As far as the lawsuit, yes, when I was very young, I went into my father's real estate company in Brooklyn and Queens, and we, along with many, many other companies throughout the country--it was a federal lawsuit--were sued. We settled the suit with no admission of guilt. I'll go one step further. In Palm Beach, Florida, a wealthy community, I opened a club, and really got great credit for it: no discrimination against African- Americans, against Muslims, against anybody.

Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University , Sep 26, 2016

Minorities in disaster cities: what do you have to lose?

I have outlined a new civil rights agenda for our time--the right to a safe community, a great education and a secure job. And I say to African-American parents, I say to Hispanic American parents--and I say it with great respect--our inner cities are a disaster--crime, no jobs, education is the worst, in many cases almost worldwide bad and in many cases actually worldwide bad. I say, with great respect, what do you have to lose? It can't get any worse. You choose Donald Trump, I'm going to fix the problem. You're going to have safety. You're going to have good education. We're going to get jobs, because we're going to bring our jobs back. Mexico's taking our jobs. So many other places, they're taking our jobs. What China's doing to us is horrible. We're going to have jobs. What do you have to lose? I'm going to fix this. I'm going to fix it.
Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

1973: sued for racial bias against black tenants

Phyllis Spiro, a white woman, went undercover in 1973 at Trump's Beach Haven. She told investigators that a building superintendent acknowledged to her "that he followed a racially discriminatory rental policy at the direction of his superiors, and that there were only very few 'colored' tenants" at the complex. More than four decades later, Spiro said she and her fellow housing activists found "a constant pattern and practice of discrimination" at Trump buildings.

Citing the experiences of Spiro and others, the Justice Department announced one of the most significant racial bias cases of the era: USA v. Fred Trump & Donald Trump. On Oct. 15, 1973, the Justice Department said the Trumps had violated the law "by refusing to rent and negotiate rentals with blacks, requiring different rental terms and conditions because of race, and misrepresenting that apartments were not available." Trump was livid, saying the charges were "absolutely ridiculous. We never have discriminated."

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p. 56-7 , Aug 23, 2016

1980s: personal lawyer gay & closeted & Trump kept secret

In the Fall of 1984, Roy Cohn fell ill, maintaining that he had liver cancer. But he was suffering from the effects of HIV infection. Trump had always known that Cohn was gay. Cohn was "invariably with some very good-looking young man," Trump wrote in his first book. "But Roy never talked about it. He just didn't like the image. He felt that to the average person, being gay was almost synonymous with being a wimp." If someone brought up gay rights, Trump noted, "Roy was always the first one to speak out against them."

As Cohn's health deteriorated, his unethical behavior as a lawyer caught up to him. A host of luminaries rose to defend Cohn's good character, including Trump, returning to his friend's side and inviting him to visit Mar-a-Lago.

In 1986, Cohn was disbarred. He was fifty-nine. His friends held a memorial service for him. Trump attended, standing silently in the back.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.111-2 , Aug 23, 2016

Pushed town council to allow blacks & Jews into Mar-a-Lago

Appalled by Trump's ostentatious behavior at Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach town council handed him a list of restrictions it was imposing on membership. But Trump took his battle to the court of public opinion. His sent every member of the town council copies of two classic movies about discrimination--Gentleman's Agreement, about a journalist who pretend to be Jewish to expose anti-Semitism, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, about a white couple's reaction to their daughter's bringing home a black fiance. The point was clear and painful: the town's political leaders for decades had condoned rules by which the established private clubs in town excluded Jews and blacks, and now they wanted to slap Trump with tough rules on his club, which was open to anyone who could afford the fees. Council members insisted that their only concern was that Trump was turning a quiet stretch of beachfront into a noisy party. No matter: Trump's tactic worked. Over time, he got most of the restrictions lifted.
Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.161-2 , Aug 23, 2016

2000: extend Civil Rights Act to apply to gays and lesbians

[In 2000], Trump called himself a conservative but sounded like a liberal on many issues. In the Advocate, a gay-oriented newsmagazine, Trump took issue with how Buchanan talked about "Jews, blacks, gays, and Mexicans. He wants to divide our country." Trump called himself a conciliator, saying he would extend the Civil Rights Act to include protections for lesbians and gays and allow them to serve openly in the military, repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the Clinton-era policy that had lifted a ban on gays in the military, but forbade them from talking about their orientation while in the service.

Although he had pulled out of the race, Trump's name remained on the Reform Party ballot in Michigan and California. He won both primaries.

Source: Trump Revealed, by Michael Kranish & Mark Fisher, p.285-7 , Aug 23, 2016

Respectfully check mosques; we have to look at profiling

Q: You said you would check respectfully the mosques. How do you respectfully check a mosque?

TRUMP: Well, you do as they used to do in New York, prior to this mayor dismantling. Right now, they're doing it in France. In fact, in some instances, they are closing down mosques.

Q: Are you talking about increasing profiling of Muslims in America?

TRUMP: Well, I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country. And other countries do it. You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it. And they do it successfully. And I hate the concept of profiling. But we have to start using common sense, and we have to use our heads. Recently, we had tremendous numbers of people coming into a speech I was making. And people that obviously had no weapons, had no anything, they were going through screening--the same scrutiny as somebody else that looked like it could have been a possible person [of interest]. So, we really have to look at profiling.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2016 interviews of presidential hopefuls , Jun 19, 2016

Put the Confederate flag in a museum, not on statehouses

Source: 2016 presidential hopefuls: iSideWith.com "Confederate flag" , Jun 17, 2016

Sexual orientation is invalid reason for firing workers

Source: 2016 presidential hopefuls: iSideWith.com "Gender identity" , Jun 17, 2016

Promoted gender equality in a male-dominated industry

None of the people who whine about the way I talk to women mention the fact that I voluntarily promoted gender equality in a male-dominated industry. The women who have worked for me will vouch for the fact that I was as demanding of them as I was of their male counterparts.

That's the kind of "gender equality" we need. Leadership that inspires the best in people, male or female, not a wishy-washy former secretary of state who doesn't understand the lunacy of having her own private e-mail server.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p.166 , Nov 3, 2015

I'm "fine" with affirmative action, for now

Q: You said that you're "fine" with affirmative action. What about those who say the time for that kind of preferential treatment has come and gone?

TRUMP: I'm fine with it, but we have it, it's there. But it's coming to a time when maybe we don't need it. That would be a wonderful thing. I don't think we need it so much anymore. It has served its place, and it served its time. Some people have loved it and some people don't like it at all. But I think there will be a time when you don't need it.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 Coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 18, 2015

Well-educated blacks have advantage over whites

Trump favored a stubbornly anti-intellectual type of common sense that played to the grievances of the kind of white men represented by the TV character Archie Bunker, who, like Trump, came from Queens and offered his opinions with chin-jutting pride.

Donald displayed his inner Archie in 1989 when he told a TV interviewer, "a well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. I've said, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black because I believe they have an actual advantage." In the universe of "well-educated black" men, some HAD gained from affirmative action programs, but only the most superficial view of the landscape would lead someone to agree with Trump. On the same TV program, filmmaker Spike Lee called Trump's statement "garbage" because it reeked of racial ignorance. But it sounded like tell-it-like-it-is honesty to many.

Source: Never Enough, by Michael D'Antonio, p.193 , Sep 22, 2015

After Supreme Court vote, gay marriage is a reality

Q: You say you would have liked the states, rather than the Supreme Court, to decide on gay marriage.

A: Some people have hopes of passing [Constitutional] amendments, but it's not going to happen. Congress can't pass simple things, let alone that. So anybody that's making that an issue is doing it for political reasons. The Supreme Court ruled on it [and hence only a Constitutional amendment can overrule that].

Source: Hollywood Reporter 2015 coverage: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 19, 2015

I'm no misogynist; I put women in charge of construction

Q: You've recently been criticized as misogynist due to your controversial treatment of women such as Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina. How do you respond to this?

TRUMP: I've always had a great relationship to the women I work with. The relationship has been amazing in terms of thousands of employees, top-level employees. And, you know, I was one of the first people in the construction industry to put women in charge of major construction projects and my relationship has been great. I have many executives that are women and doing a phenomenal job. And I'm doing very well with the women voters. So I don't really worry about those false accusations.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 9, 2015

I'm no misogynist; I put women in charge of construction

Q: You've recently been criticized as misogynist due to your controversial treatment of women such as Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina. How do you respond to this?

TRUMP: I've always had a great relationship to the women I work with. The relationship has been amazing in terms of thousands of employees, top-level employees.

Source: , Aug 9, 2015

Disinvited from RedState gathering for misogynistic comments

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2015 GOP RedState Gathering , Aug 8, 2015

Political correctness is country's problem, not my problem

Q: You don't use a politician's filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You've called women you don't like "fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals."

TRUMP: Only Rosie O'Donnell!

Q: You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?

TRUMP: I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I don't have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn't have time either. This country is in big trouble. We don't win anymore. We lose to China. We lose to Mexico both in trade and at the border. We lose to everybody. And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it's fun, it's kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say. But you know, we need strength, we need energy, we need quickness and we need brain in this country to turn it around.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Obama's presidency has done nothing for African Americans

Q: You said of Barack Obama, "Sadly, because he's done such a poor job as president, you won't see another black president for generations." What did you mean by that?

TRUMP: Well, I think he's been a very poor president. We have $18 trillion right now in debt and going up rapidly. We don't have victories anymore. China is killing us on trade. Mexico's killing us at the border and also killing us on trade.

Q: I understand your critique, but why we won't see another black president for generations?

TRUMP: Because I think that he has set a very poor standard and it's a shame for the African American people. He really has done nothing for African Americans. You look at what's gone on with their income levels, and with their youth. They have problems now in terms of unemployment numbers. We have a black president who's done very poorly for the African Americans of this country.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 2, 2015

Same-sex marriage is a state issue

What does Donald Trump believe? Social Issues: Marriage is between a man and a woman and should be defined state by state.

In a Bloomberg interview in January, the businessman asserted that he personally believes marriage is between a man and a woman. While he sees it as a state issue, Trump indicated that the Supreme Court could issue a ruling to determine the law.

Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 16, 2015

No gay marriage; no same-sex partner benefits

On Thursday, Trump talked about "exploring" a presidential run, and was asked f he supports "allowing same-sex couples to marry."

Trump said "no," but didn't stop there. When asked whether gay couples should have access to "the same benefits as married couples," the mogul initially replied that his attitude on the issue was not yet "fully formed."

After thinking about it for a moment, however, Trump said: "As of this moment, I would say no and no" to gay marriage and civil benefits.

That answer may have resonated with Iowa conservatives who overwhelmingly opposed the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 decision to overturn the state's gay marriage ban. But not in New York, home to one of the largest gay and lesbian communities in the US.

Trump was traveling Sunday and could not be reached for comment. Through a spokesman, he said only: "I'm opposed to gay marriage."

Source: New York Daily News, "Offends gay activist" , Mar 7, 2011

Tolerate diversity; prosecute hate crimes against gays

One of our next presidentís most important goals must be to induce a greater tolerance for diversity. The senseless murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming-where an innocent boy was killed because of his sexual orientation- turned my stomach. We must work towards an America where these kinds of hate crimes are unthinkable.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 31 , Jul 2, 2000

Created first club in Palm Beach open to blacks & Jews

[In the early 1990s], I was living happily at Mar-a-Lago with Ivana and the kids. But in actuality, as a house it was far too big. I went through years of legal skirmishes with the town of Palm Beach. I stated that Mar-a-Lago should have always been a club. A club would have been the maximum use for the property.

Ultimately, the town council of Palm Beach approved Mar-a-Lago for use as a private club. They fought me every inch of the way. But right won out.

One of the principal reason that I had such strong support from the people within Palm Beach was that, unlike the other clubs in town, Mar-a-Lago would be open to all races, colors and creeds. Paul Rampell really pushed this point. The Bath and Tennis Club and the Everglades Club had no Jewish or black members.

Mar-a-Lago would be open to all, and this appealed to a large group of supporters. It also sparked a tremendous fight by those who wanted to preserve the existing system, a system that, in this day and age, seems archaic.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p. 67-72 , Oct 27, 1997

Women are far stronger than men; don't believe "weaker sex"

I grew up in a very normal family. I was always of the opinion that aggression, sex drive, and everything that goes along with it was on the man's part of the table, not the woman's. As I grew older and witnessed life firsthand from a front-row seat at the great clubs, social events, and parties of the world--I have seen just about everything--I began to realize that women are far stronger than men. Their sex drive makes us look like babies. Some women try to portray themselves as being of the weaker sex, but don't believe it for a minute.

Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression "the weaker sex" was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye--or perhaps another body part. I have seen some of the roughest, toughest guys on earth, and yet they're afraid of their 120 pound girlfriends or wives.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.116-8 , Oct 27, 1997

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Donald Trump on other issues:
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Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
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Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
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Page last updated: Sep 08, 2018